The Toby Carvery, Cleadon
Formerly known as The Britannia, this old coaching inn dates from the 17th century and has a reputation for being haunted. In the following extract from an article promoting ‘Ghost Taverns of the North East’ by Mike Hallowell and Darren Ritson (Shields Gazette, 22 April 2012), Sarah Stoner listed the ghosts that are said to haunt The Toby Carvery.
‘At least one tunnel runs beneath The Britannia – now known as The Toby Carvery – believed to have been built as an escape route for Catholics during the time of Oliver Cromwell.
“The tunnel leads from the inn to an extremely old house across the road,” states the book.
One of the ghosts thought to haunt the pub is a Catholic soldier, injured while fighting for the Royalists.
The spirit of a Cavalier has also been spotted, enjoying a drink at the bar.
Other tales include a phantom coach and horses, as well as a yarn involving a one-legged sailor who supposedly died on the premises in the 1800s.
“The source of this sailor tale is a bit unreliable, but there is no doubt that one or two real ghosts do indeed walk the floors of this old inn,” said Darren and Michael.’